Raymond Chan graduated with First Class Honors from the Department of Mathematics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1980. Uncertain of what to do next, he stayed in the Department as a full-time instructor after graduation. He started his graduate study in 1981 with a full fellowship from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. He obtained the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Mathematics there in 1984 and 1985 respectively under the supervision of Professor Olof Widlund.
Chan began his career as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. With heart and mind always in Hong Kong, he came back to Hong Kong in 1986, first at The University of Hong Kong (1986-92) and then at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (1993) before joining his Alma Mater in 1993. He was the Associate Director of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (1996-98), the Associate Dean of Science (2004-09) and the Head of the Mathematics Department (2012-18). He has retired from the University in 2019 as an Emeritus Professor. He is now the Dean of College of Science at City University of Hong Kong.
Chan has published 140 journal papers and has been in the ISI Science Citation List of Top Highly-Cited Mathematicians in the world. He won a Leslie Fox Prize for Numerical Analysis in 1989 at Cambridge, United Kingdom; a Feng Kang Prize of Scientific Computing in 1997 in Beijing, China; a Morningside Award in 1998 in Beijing, China; and 2011 Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (First Prize) from the Ministry of Education in China. He was elected a SIAM Fellow in 2013 and a SIAM Council Member for 2015-20.
Chan has served on the editorial boards of many journals, including: Asian Journal of Mathematics (co-Chief Editor since 1997), Advances in Computational Mathematics (since 2010), Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision (since 2014), Journal of Scientific Computing (since 2013), SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences (from 2007 to 2017), and SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing (from 2000 to 2008).
He presented over 170 invited conference talks in more than 20 countries, including plenary talks at SIAM Conference on Applied Linear Algebra and SIAM Conference on Imaging Science. He also reviewed papers for more than 120 different journals.
His wonderful group of graduate students includes: Xiaoqing Jin, the Vice-President of East Asia SIAM and former Head of the Mathematics Department at Macau University; Michael Ng, Head of Department of Mathematics at the Hong Kong Baptist University and a SIAM Fellow; Wai-Ki Ching, former Head of Department of Mathematics at University of Hong Kong; Hao-Min Zhou, an NSF CAREER awardee in 2007; Zheng-Jian Bai, the first prize winner of Applied Numerical Algebra Prize in 2008; and Xiaohao Cai, the first prize winner of EASIAM Student Paper Prize in 2013.